What is the economy that will give us all hope - real hope that we can have a good life? I think that it is what I call the Networked Artisan. This is a person who makes things by their own hands but uses often the new tools to do this and the network to connect and sell to a community that can be next door or across the way.
It can be a micro farmer like Amy and Verena at Heart Beet Organics on PEI who operate a 2 acre farm using large greenhouses to produce veggies 10 months of the year.
As part of the pattern for all Networked Artisans, they sell direct to customers and create close personal relationships with them. Farmers markets grew by 17% last year. Food will be at the core of this new personal movement. Trust is at the heart of it.
In the UK there are web hubs springing up that make it easier and easier for customers to become part of this.
This is Big Barn. Check it out and see how amazing it is.
Are you a knitter? There are 3 million knitters in an online community called Ravelry. Here they compare projects, help each other and sell things to each other. It is a vast tribe of knitters.
Underneath all of this is a new market. This is the market of the people who no longer trust the corporate offering. They know that they lose control and that they are often lied to. This is why food is a wedge. For as people learn how the processed diet is so bad for them AND how they have been misled as to its safety, they seek food that they can trust.
How big is this market?
2.5% of a population are the Innovators who jump in early. In America that is about 8 million people.
13.5% are the Early Adopters - that is about another 40 million.
So nearly 50 million people are ready for this kind of offering. That is a huge market for a small artisan. A market that the Big Corporates cannot reach and compete in any more. They will be excluded over time.
Meanwhile, all the technology that is taking away the jobs in that sector, is helping the New Artisan. You have rock bottom communication costs. You have top flight tools. Want an ecommerce tool - Woo Commerce. Want CRM - Paupress. Want to publish a book - pressbooks. Want make a prototype - 3D printers. Each year, the tools get better and cheaper.
The next wave are going to be local aggregators like this new one for Portland.
Soon every commnity will have such a site. It will get easier and easier to become part of this.
The future is here now. The empowered person in the empowering network of people who want trust and meaning back in their lives.
So what do you do?
My first book - You Don't Need a Job - explores this shift in detail. If you want to know more abouyt what is going on and how to become part of this, then please give it a whirl.